Shiv Sena says the Mumbai Police will find Sharjeel Usmani and arrest him.
Shiv Sena says the Mumbai Police will find Sharjeel Usmani and arrest him.
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Shiv Sena on Thursday promised action against AMU student leader Sharjeel Usmani who is accused of "hurting religious sentiments."

In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, Sena appealed to BJP leaders in Maharashtra to keep calm over the issue, assuring that the Mumbai Police would find Usmani from wherever he is and arrest him.

The editorial also took jibes at the BJP over its handling of the farmers' protest. On the cause of Hindutva, the party said, "all the farmers protesting at Delhi's borders are also Hindu. When will you (Centre) talk to them and send them home with dignity?"

The Pune City Police on Tuesday had filed an FIR against Usmani for a speech he had delivered at an Elgar Parishad event in Pune. This year's event was organised by retired Justice BG Kolse Patil.

During the 30 January conclave, writer-activist Arundhati Roy, Justice (retd) BG Kolse Patil, and former IPS officer S M Mushrif were among those who addressed the gathering.

Three years ago, several Left-leaning activists were arrested by the police for alleged Naxal links following the 31 December 2017 Elgar Parishad conclave and the caste violence at Pune's Koregaon-Bhima war memorial the next day.

Usmani had attended the Elgar Parishad event organised at Pune's Ganesh Kala Krida Manch on 30 January. Soon after, a video of him allegedly using objectionable words against the Hindu community went viral—stern action was demanded against him later.

The Elgar Parishad event on 31 December 2017, organised by the Kabir Kala Manch at Shaniwarwada became controversial following provocative speeches allegedly made at the event, promoting enmity between people. It allegedly triggered the violence in Bhima-Koregaon the next day.

The police investigation further found Maoist links in the Elgar Parishad 2017, leading to the arrest of 16 activists alleged to have links with the banned Maoist party. Hyderabad-based poet Varavara Rao, Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha, and Anand Teltumbde were among the accused arrested in the case, which is now being investigated by the National Investigation Agency.

BJP Leaders of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis (Assembly) and Pravin Darekar (Council) had demanded that Usmani be booked under sedition charges for his statements.

The BJP also warned in an ultimatum that if no action was taken against Usmani within 48 hours, the party would launch a statewide agitation.

On Wednesday, BJP state president of Maharashtra Chandrakant Patil wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asking him to register an FIR against Usmani and take stern action for his speech.

"Strict action should be taken against the person who hurt the sentiment of [the] Hindu community in Maharashtra and across India, and this case should be used as a precedent so that nobody dares to use such words again," Patil said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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